Yards Per Play in the SEC: Summer Turns to Fall

Almost every team in the SEC has played at least one conference game, so the early-season YPP numbers inflated by cupcakes are starting to reflect the teams' true talent levels (except Mississippi State -- they've played four cupcakes). A tough defensive matchup between Auburn and LSU was the league's only close game this past weekend, and both teams' offensive numbers declined, while their defensive numbers improved. Arkansas actually got a boost last week in YPP, despite giving up more overall yards and (most importantly) more points to Rutgers.

Once again, I made sure to only use games against FBS competition in the hopes of weeding out some of the cupcake inflation. The numbers, provided by College Football Statistics as usual, are after the jump.

Rank Team Games Played Offensive Plays Offensive YPP Defensive Plays Defensive YPP Ratio
1 Alabama 4 252 6.75 222 3.33 2.03
2 Louisiana State 4 276 6.41 230 3.47 1.85
3 Georgia 4 272 7.79 282 4.87 1.60
4 South Carolina 4 256 6.63 267 4.50 1.47
5 Florida 4 263 6.20 279 4.37 1.42
6 Texas A&M 2 156 6.20 139 4.43 1.36
7 Mississippi 3 209 6.64 218 5.26 1.26
8 Mississippi State 3 192 6.26 221 5.14 1.22
9 Tennessee 3 240 6.24 218 5.99 1.04
10 Kentucky 4 278 5.41 297 5.41 1.00
11 Auburn 4 238 5.00 312 5.38 0.93
12 Vanderbilt 3 187 4.98 212 5.49 0.91
13 Arkansas 3 186 5.41 242 6.25 0.87
14 Missouri 3 226 4.18 196 5.34 0.78


  • The Egg Bowl should be a good game. If you've been reading this weekly, you should know that I think Hugh Freeze has done a tremendous job in year one with Ole Miss, and I think he is turning out to be the absolute right hire. In fact, TSUN has put up better YPP numbers than Mississippi State, despite playing basically the same schedule (1 FCS school, 2 FBS non-AQ schools, 1 FBS AQ school). In fact, Ole Miss's schedule has been tougher, since their AQ opponent was Texas while MSU's was the East Alabama Dumpster Fire. Should make for an interesting Thanksgiving weekend game.
  • Missouri...oof. We knew their transition into the SEC would be tough, but things are looking rough for Gary Pinkel's squad in terms of YPP. They've been blown out of two conference games and won a nail-biter against a mid-level Pac-12 team. Granted, their two conference games were against two of the top six teams in the country (rankings-wise), but I can't imagine this is how folks in Columbia expected the season to start out. A good next step would be taking care of business against UCF in Orlando; you're s'posed to be SEC.
  • Separation at the top. It's becoming clear that the SEC West is a two-team race and the SEC East is (surprisingly) a three-team race. Florida has impressed since their opening day close call against Bowling Green, and the Gators seem to be hitting their stride. As expected, Alabama and LSU have been impressive (well, LSU has been impressive defensively, anyways), and Georgia and South Carolina have taken care of business. It's kind of a bummer to realize that 9 of 14 teams are not going to win the league, but I guess most people have assumed it would be Alabama or LSU since January anyways.
  • When will Vandy's peripheral success transate to wins? Vanderbilt was around the middle of the pack last season in YPP, total yards, and other peripheral stats, but only won six games. This year, they have a YPP ratio greater than 1, but a losing record. In fact, in spite of gaining more yards per play than their opponents in games against FBS competition, they have yet to win a game against FBS competition. When will things start to turn around for them, in terms of wins and losses?

Thanks for the feedback last week. It's interesting to see how these numbers fluctuate from week to week, especially knowing the level of opponent that each team faces. Four teams are off this weekend, so next week's numbers may not be too different from this week's numbers. Except Ole Miss's; their offensive numbers are going to plunge against the Machine.

A FanPost gives the opinion of the fan who writes it and that fan only. That doesn't give the opinion more or less weight than any other opinion on this blog, but the post does not necessarily reflect the view of TSK's writers.

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